Women with diabetes are at greater risk of venous thromboembolism than men, particularly during perimenopause, according to an Austrian study.
Researchers from the Complexity Science Hub and MedUni Vienna analysed data from about 45 million hospitalisations and 7,239,710 patients in Austria between 2003 and 2014.
They found that among women with diabetes mellitus (DM), the risk of developing venous thromboembolism (VTE) is 1.52 times higher compared to women without diabetes. For men, the risk is only 1.3 times higher.
It is the first time that diabetes has been shown to have an association with VTE to a greater extent in women than in men – particularly in over-40s, the researchers say.
The study, published in Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, found the ‘gender gap’ peaks in women between 50 and 59 years of age, where the risk is 1.65 times higher.
The population-based dataset covered all in-patient stays in Austria between 2003 and 2014. Of the 180,034 patients with DM, 70,739 were female and 109,295 were male.
Study leader Alexandra Kautzky-Willer, from MedUni Vienna, said: “Our findings suggest that women with diabetes mellitus should be monitored more carefully for the development of VTE, especially during their perimenopause.”
The study shows again that the biological advantage of women - especially for vascular complications in the case of diabetes - reduces and their risk increases in the menopause when there is a further drop in oestrogen, the researchers say.
The researchers say to record this gender-specific correlation between DM and VTE in even greater detail, further analysis is needed that investigate the causes of the relative increase in risk.
Deischinger C, Dervic E, Nopp S, Kaleta M, Klimek P, Kautzky-Willer A. (2022) “Diabetes mellitus is associated with a higher relative risk for venous thromboembolism in females than in males.” Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2022.110190
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